While photographing the Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in the summer of 2010, I took the opportunity to investigate the back roads south of Gettysburg into Maryland and came across two fascinating and historic bridges.
The Sachs Covered Bridge, a lattice truss located along Waterworks Road, was constructed in 1852. The bridge measured 100 feet in length and crossed a small impoundment of Marsh Creek.
The covered span played a vital role during the Civil War, as both Union and Confederate troops used the bridge. On July 1, 1863, the Sauches Covered Bridge – as it was referred to then, was crossed by two brigades of the I Corps of the Union heading towards Gettysburg, and the III Corps crossed the bridge towards the Black Horse Tavern. Just four days later, a majority of General Lee’s Confederate troops crossed Sauches Covered Bridge after a Union victory in a battle.
In 1938, the crossing was designated as Pennsylvania’s most historic bridge by the Bureau of Public Transportation. Plans began in 1960 to replace the bridge with a modern crossing, and in 1968, the covered bridge was converted to a pedestrian-only span after a new bridge was completed upstream. Sachs Covered Bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
In 1996, the bridge suffered flash flood damage, and was restored in 1997.
Crossing over into western Maryland, I came across Bullfrog Road Bridge near Taneytown. The one lane Parker-through truss is 183 feet long and crosses the Monocacy River and was built in 1908. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978, and partially rehabilitated in 1989 with new abutments. The superstructure itself was overhauled in 1996.
- Bullfrog Road Bridge: Bullfrog Road Bridge is located near Taneytown, Maryland. The one lane Parker-through truss crosses the Monocacy River and was built in 1908.
- Sachs Covered Bridge: The Sachs Covered Bridge, a lattice truss located along Waterworks Road, was constructed in 1852. It was a vital crossing during the Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.